Provocative title? Just words. True provocativity isn't just talk.
- Goatees? Dreds? Smoking ganja, just keeping it real?
- Long hair, ponytailed up?
- Speak with a slow California drawl, wearing clothes loose, with a casual undertone?
- Work in a homeless mission?
- Give 50% of income to an AIDS Clinic in Uganda?
- Write/speak in ebonics, uSE alTeRNAting CAPS and lowercase?
I don't know. But I don't think any of that's it.
Was exchanging e-mail with a musician friend who has a mutual appreciation of Larry Norman. He's talking about doing a cover album entirely of LN's work. He thinks this generation has missed out on all of Larry. I agree.
I said: LN's message is especially hot right now - good theology, good witness, while realizing there's a world which needs to be loved in word and action and sometimes love gets roughed up.
Why is it hot? It has never been cold.
Larry wasn't perfect. A mess. Divorced. Twice. It gets worse. Look him up. But, listen to his music too. Larry was not a man whose life equalled what God intended, but they pursued each other.
But this isn't about Larry. See some of his music below (samples of many of his songs). This is about living on the edge.
The edge isn't about sandals and a scruffy face and clothing.
It is about being real with God. No pretense. Chase Him. It isn't about a quick sign of the cross, owning 50 Bibles (all red letter), or pointing fingers at those who do. Real and pretending to be real are two very different concepts.
It is about what happens after the sign of the cross. There is a lot good that can be said about the sign of the cross, fa,iliarity with Bible translations, and goatees. They are not the edge. The edge is doing the right thing, while seeing the wrong thing talking back atcha. It is solemn. It isn't rock n roll. It isn't hymns either.
I grew up in a church that singly at full volume was not done. It was permitted, but no one did it. When I changed churches, I found music. I found hymns. I love hymns as much as I like classic rock. I am not a great fan of much of what counts as a contemporary worship. I don't mind if you do.
Abrasive is not the edge. Nor is sugary sweetness.
The church is not the edge. Nor is religion. Nor is the rejecting of either just because.
The edge. Love.
Everything else doesn't matter?
Everything else still matters. Who do you love is the question.
St. Augustine is attributed as having said, "Love God and do what you want."
Wear a suit? A beret? Birkenstocks? I don't know. I'm still working on the first part.
Looking for the shoes? -> Birkenstock's
Larry Norman on Amazon
Larry, with his family, sings Amazing Grace. It is not representative of his musical style, but it is representative of his life.